Kicks on the Street, continued

Kicks on the Street, continued

From an e-mail sent to me by reader Adrián:

I’m from a humid region in the north of Spain, and due to the climate it’s normal to have slippery floors. And although I’m passionate about kicking, in such circumstances even with a low kick it’s easy to slip.

This is something that martial artists must consider –the climate and the environment. Where I came from in central California, there were orange trees because it rarely froze. So for me, or anyone in places like Madera or Fresno California, icy sidewalks are not a consideration.  Wisconsin is a different story.

Gun writer Mas Ayoob, who also used to write articles for Black Belt magazine, lives in a cold climate. If you’re carrying a Snubby_Photos-300x223concealed pistol behind the hip, you may have to get through a zipped jacket to get to your pistol, while wearing gloves. For these circumstances he recommends carrying a revolver with a shrouded hammer in an outer coat pocket. If you need to, you can fore through the pocket without drawing the gun.

This is a comment by reader Michael.

I’m just not a fan of the Thai Kick. I prefer linear moves than big circular or arching moves, at least where unarmed fighting is concerned. My go-to kick for the street is the low side kick delivered at shin or knee level from the lead leg; we used to call it the “leg check” in American Tae Kwon Do. It really allows you to lean back and get your head out of the way while maintaining a relatively stable base.

One advantage of the Thai kick is sheer power, but that does entail commitment. A technique I used successfully in my Al Smith Sensei Fresno City College sparring sessions was the Thai kick. Karate guys often used the left-forward side stance. Rather than sweep, with my right side forward I would do a burst front leg shin kick to the back of the guy’s leg just above the knee. It’s really not a Thai technique, but my thinking was to apply Bruce Lee’s lead bursting side kick to a Thai kick. (I still practice this on the bag.) Once my opponent got hit with a shin kick to the back of the leg, it turned him. I stepped to his back, punching to his ribs and kidneys.

tegnerAs far as the low side kick goes, it was also a go-to technique of Bruce Tegner and Bruce Lee, so you’re in good company.  I always use to read about “breaking” an opponent’s knee, but all you have to do is hyper-extend it, pushing it a bit farther than it wants to go, and your opponent is in a world of hurt.

Both the low Thai kick and the low side kick involve elements of turning. You can also attack with the low straight kick. A tip I got from GM Maranga is to kick with the flat of the foot. Try it –it’s very powerful.


In fact, I had a former roommate with some seriously unresolved anger issues, dealing with his father’s death and his mother’s remarriage, so he would go out and get into fights in order to openly grapple with his inner demons. One guy was stupid enough to confront him in a parking lot. My roommate led with a right low stomp to the guy’s forward knee. When the guy’s knee buckled, my friend followed up with a non-stop barrage of punches. It wasn’t a fight so much as a beating, and my roommate dumped his groggy opponent into a shopping cart, then left.


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